“The Fiscal Cliff” Live Online Radio Debate, Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 PM EST

On Sunday, December 9, 2012, from 1-3 PM EST (UTC-5) we launched Nolan Chart Radio as a pilot project, beginning with a debate on the Fiscal Cliff that currently dominates America’s headlines. The following Nolan Chart columnists participated as panelists:

  1. Nita Wiggins (liberal)
  2. Bill Gee (centrist)
  3. Kevin Caffrey (conservative)
  4. Kenn Jacobine (libertarian)

I served as moderator for two hours of discussion and debate on the issue. We explored the following questions:

  1. What is the Fiscal Cliff
  2. Why is it important?
  3. What, if anything, should be done about it?

The one thing that is missing in political issue debates these days is actual discussion between the political camps in one location. Some readers might remember the old Point / Counterpoint debates that was a staple of CBS’s “60 Minutes” program in the 1970s between James J. Kirkpatrick and Nicholas von Hoffman (later Shana Alexander). It was eventually replaced by Andy Rooney’s segment on the show, but the concept was picked up years later by CNN with their “Crossfire” program.

There were two problems with the original format. First, it was too short; the original only ran for three minutes each week. Second, it failed to include viewpoints that represented a large enough segment of the audience. CNN’s program eliminated the first problem by making a full program out of the debate, but they also got swallowed up by a failure to actually discuss the issue as the discussion became little more than personal attacks.

Today, we attempted to repair all these problems with our new debate and discussion format. Each camp will received a reasonably proportional amount of airtime. Personal attacks didn’t even become an issue.

Walt Thiessen

Walt Thiessen

As founder of nolanchart.com, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the website! My purpose with my column is the same as my purpose for the overall website. Libertarian ideas have been generally excluded from the public debate and ridiculed on those rare occasions when they have been included. This must change.

Rather than trying to force others to change their ways, I created this website to create an environment where all political views, including libertarian, could be expressed in a free yet respectful manner.
Walt Thiessen

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author/contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Nolan Chart or its ownership


  1. LogicalPremise says

    I would like to point out that Walt offered a statist view point as well, but I had a scheduling conflict and Van Bryant II
    may have as well.

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